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Hazard, Moses lead Chelsea to rout West Brom

Hazard, Moses lead Chelsea to rout West Brom
February 13
00:12 2018
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BY JONATHAN LEDGER 

Reigning but soon-to-be-deposed Premier league champions got back to winning ways on Monday night, defeating Alan Pardew’s relegation-threatened West Bromwich Albion 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea were looking to return to winning ways after suffering two straight humiliating drubbings at the hands of Bournemouth and Watford, and coach Antonio Conte handed a first start to former Arsenal striker, Olivier Giroud and the 31-year old France International striker.

West Brom threatened as early as the fifth minute when winger Matt Philips’ volleyed cross across the face of goal was met by the Salomon Rondon header off target. Nigerian international, Victor Moses presented a golden chance to striker Jay Rodriguez five minutes later when his undercooked header back to keeper Courtois was too short and the English striker pounced upon the loose ball but missed the sitter.

New signing Olivier Giroud was having a good debut and he almost opened the scoring but he sent a tame shot to the goalkeeper Foster from an Eden Hazard through ball from wing. Eden Hazard was playing in his new unfamiliar role as support striker behind Giroud and the Belgian connected with the French man in no time. The opening goal arrived in the in the 25th minute when the industrious Hazard played a one-two pass with Giroud who brilliantly held off the attention of big Egyptian defender Hegazi and touched the ball to Hazard who rolled the ball to d bottom corner.

Chelsea’s defence was holding firm and this was made possible by the calmness of 21-year old Danish centre-back Andreas Christiansen and the experience of captain Cesar Azpilicueta. On a rare occasion when they lost the ball, with Christiansen losing the ball on the edge of the penalty area but Courtois spared his blushes with a decent save in a one-on-one situation, and Johnny Evans nodded a free header off target from the resulting corner kick.

Chelsea doubled their lead in the 63rd minute, Victor Moses started the move and collects Fabregas’ flicked pass which found its way back to him fortuitously but the winger dispatched into the bottom corner with aplomb. Chelsea were playing with their fluency of last season’s title-winning team and Moses almost doubled his tally three minutes later when his low shot from the edge of the box was saved by Ben Forster.

Talisman Hazard settled the match when on receiving a pass from substitute Alvaro Morata, the former Lille forward, playing a free role behind the striker side-stepped the West Brom defender and wrong-footed a static ‘keeper Foster at his near post. Substitute striker Alvaro Morata, returning from injury almost added gloss to the scoreline when he sent a dipping long-range strike from 30 yards which Foster save brilliantly to keep the scoreline at 3-0.

Chelsea’s win eased the tension mounting on the under pressure Conte and returned the London club to the top four of the EPL table with 53 points a whooping 19 points behind runaway leaders Manchester City. Meanwhile, West Brom stays rooted to the bottom of the log, seven points from safety.

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